Best 45 ACP Ammo For Self Defense – Mar 2023

The best 45 ACP ammunition for sale in 2018

Best .45 ACP Ammo For Sale in 2023

If you want the best 45 ACP ammo for self defense, well we have some cool shit to show you.

Hollow points still rule the roost, but there are new technologies coming on stream and new bullets to consider these days..

But there are some new bullets, FTM bullets ripper bullets and other tech, that have been proven effective as self defense rounds. If you have a semi-automatic chambered in 45 ACP, you should try them.

If you’re thinking about bullet technology and new ballistics, then the best thing to do is get a sampler pack of the best ammo online, hit the range and see the impact it has on your gun, your shooting and the targets.

You will be amazed at the difference some of the best .45 ACP ammunition for sale in 2022 can make, especially if you use a 3 inch barrel subcompact. Try them, see for yourself and prepare to be blown away by a 45 caliber bullet. Well, no, you know what we mean…

Hornady Critical Defense ammo in 45 ACP. Get ammo deals.


1. Hornady Critical Defense 45 FTX P+

  • Price: $1.45/round
  • Pack price: $29.00/20 Rounds
  • Bullet weight: 185gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 411
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1000fps
  • Bullet Type: 185 grain Jacketed Hollow Point JHP

At its core, the Hornady Flexlock is really a 185gr JHP that is an evolution of the Hornady Critical Defense. So what’s different? That blob of resin holding the tip together and giving the bullet streamlined flight and improved penetration and expansion.

This is a nickel plated brass bullet that has evolved to meet the exacting demands of Law Enforcement agencies that include the FBI. They take this 185 grain JHP seriously…

So, if you’re looking for a safe bet, the best-selling 45 ACP ammo that gets the royal seal of American law enforcement approval, then this is it. We approve of Hornady Critical Defense rounds and trust them with our life…

Tried and Trusted Tech

Is it as revolutionary as the LeHigh Defense or the Honey Badger? Hell no, but that means millions of these have been sent downstream and they’re a total known quantity. In a self-defense weapon, that has serious value…

The InterLock band keeps the bullet and the core together for maximum weight and maximum impact. It’s designed for maximum damage, not high penetration, and you can see how effective the bullet is at expanding and tumbling here.

Also, that’s a seriously pretty custom Kimber Warrior, similar to the gun in John Wick 2, while we’re talking about this.

We approve of the gun and you can find some other great 1911s for sale here.

Sig Elite Performance V-Crown 45 ACP ammo.

2. Sig Sauer Elite Performance V Crown

  • Price: $0.99/Round
  • Pack Price: $19.99/20 Rounds
  • Bullet weight: 230gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 450
  • Muzzle Velocity: 830fps
  • Bullet Type: 230 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point JHP

Sig got into the high-tech ammunition game lately and the Elite 45 ACP 230 grain JHP holds its own against most of the bullets here. It’s cheaper than some of the big names, too, so throw some of this in your order and see how it stacks up.

Now this nickel plated brass 45 ACP ammo is as good as anything here when it comes to terminal ballistics.

Check this video of this 45 ACP ammo slamming into meat and bone before you buy ammo online. Then tell me this is weak self-defense ammo…

Sig opted for a more conservative, better value bullet that isn’t as extreme as the G2 RIP. But this jacketed hollow point is one of the first self defense rounds we would actually trust with our life.

Speer Gold Dot 45 ACP ammunition

3. CCI Speer Gold Dot

  • Price: $1.72/Round
  • Pack Price: $34.43/20 Rounds
  • Bullet weight: 230gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 343
  • Muzzle Velocity: 890fps
  • Bullet Type: JHP

OK, it’s a 45 ACP 230 grain hollowpoint, exactly the kind of bullet we were telling you we were going to improve upon.

The thing is,. the CCI Speer Gold Dot is a really strong bullet. It’s one of the best on the market right now. Handgun ammo like this can be a secret weapon for some connoisseurs and some law enforcement agents that prefer the additional stopping power of the 45 ACP.

CCI Speer Gold Dot is designed to go through barriers and provide utter uniformity from round to round. It’s an expensive luxury, but then it is considered one of the finest 45 ACP bullets on the open market.

Try it against Hornady Critical Duty and Horrnady Critical Defense and it could well become your favorite self-defense 45 ACP ammo.

Speer LE Gold Dot is the same bullet, at slightly more affordable prices for police officers.

Federal Personal Defense Punch 45 ACP ammo on sale. Get your discount prices now.



4. Federal Premium Personal Defense Punch

  • Price: $1.10/round
  • Pack price: $21.99/20 Rounds
  • Weight: 230gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 404
  • Muzzle Velocity: 890fps
  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point

This is a different kind of expansion. The lightweight Federal Premium Punch basically pancakes on entry, creating a series of sharp edges and a blade that effectively cuts through soft tissue.

The Federal Premium Personal Defense Punch is an absolute savage of a 45 ACP full metal jacket for sale online, but the price is kind of mindblowing too. That said, this is very serious self-defense ammunition and if you’re firing more than 50 rounds in anger over the course of the year then you’re either in a very dangerous profession or you need to make some lifestyle changes.

If you’re a cop, look for bulk ammo deals online, this isn’t for you. If you only get into gunfights a few times a year then this might be a viable option.

LeHigh Xtreme Defense 45 ACP for sale

5. LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense

  • Price: $1.20/round
  • Pack price: $59.99/50 Rounds
  • Weight: 120gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 465
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,350fps
  • Bullet Type: Fluid Monolithic

Get ready for a LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense love-in. This is the evolution of the Xtreme Penetrator, which has a fantastic name and is also a pretty special bullet, and that features on this list too.

Wilson Combat bought the rights to this FTM bullet earlier in the year and already has its own branded versions out there. So it’s fair to say this tech works.

You can feel the additional power in the gun, and the target if you get creative. You can search Youtube yourself for people blowing the crap out of gel and meat with LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense and Xtreme Penetrator.

This self-defense ammo has all the clever tech of the Xtreme Defense flutes at the front that keep the bullet straight and true. It doesn’t rely on expansion like a traditional hollow point, but higher velocity and shock tactics.

Fluid Transfer Monolithic Shock?

Instead the flutes create impact points and effectively a hydraulic shock through the system. That consistently provides a wound cavity 2-4 times as large as the best 45 ACP ammo and a vicious spiral to the cavity that looks, well it looks bad.

This is ammo for self-defense and it really doesn’t care about the other guy. Make your peace with that before you load it into the magazine, because you can’t hesitate when it comes time to pull the trigger.

The company claims the 120gr Xtreme Defense provides the same Permanent Wound Cavity as an AR-15 round. Having seen the tests and done our own, we have no reason to doubt it. Maybe this is the missing link that turns your 1911 into a hunting handgun.

Think about that for a second, though, a 120gr, low recoil .45 ACP that can basically hold its own against an AR-15 when it comes to wrecking shit.

Fluid Transfer Monolithic is a very polite term for a savage projectile that creates a bow wave of damage as it rips through everything short of actual body armor.

We’d need to see it bounce off an armor plate to truly believe even that. This round turns your 45 ACP handgun into an absolute cannon. It gives you more force, much more, it’s really that simple.

A New Kind of Bullet That Passes The Smell Test

LeHigh Defense worked with Castle Hills Ammunition to a point, but it has now gone its own way with a vast range of advanced .45 ACP, and every other caliber. We love the work it has done and the price point, compared to the opposition.

It also looks clean. The design is more cohesive. It looks like it should be effective, and it just is. It’s all about velocity, but it’s a beast.

We think it’s viable as self-defense ammunition at this price and the evolution of the Xtreme Defense deals with one of the lingering concerns with the Xtreme Penetrator: over-penetration.

This is a pure self-defense round, designed for close range. It’s a sledgehammer of a basic bullet and then it comes with a real sting in the tail with the hydraulic shockwave ripping through whatever it just hit. Is it the best .45 ACP ammo for sale in 2022? It just might be…

Get some and see for yourself.

Federal Hydra-Shok Deep 45 ACP ammunition. The JHP with a spike inside, new bullet tech that promises hydrostatic shock, as well as a gaping wound cavity.

6. Federal Hydra Shok Deep

  • Price: $1.25/Round
  • Pack Price: $24.99/20 Rounds
  • Weight: 210gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 404
  • Muzzle Velocity: 890fps
  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point JHP

The Federal Hydra Shok Deep is a 210 grain projectile that goes beyond simple hollowpoints.

Look at the expansion in the video with this Federal Premium ammo. It’s perfectly uniform and the bullet has splayed out like a flower, complete with sharp stake down the center of these lethal petals that help this personal defense ammo inflict even more damage.

This and several other Federal rounds are approved for use by pretty much every major military and law enforcement agency in the US, and it’s easy to see why from the gel tests. They also make some of the best 9mm ammo for self-defense that you can rely on to perform perfectly, as prescribed, each and every time.

The design allows for penetration of thick clothing and windscreens, with apparently little deflection thanks to that sturdier center post. For personal defense ammunition, this is all good news and the ballistic gel doesn’t tell the full story honestly.

Federal HST is basically the same design without the center post. It’s hardly a basic bullet, though, Federal HST is still a pretty advanced JHP.

Golden Saber tactical bonded JHP bullets.

7. Remington Golden Saber

  • Price: $1.60/Round
  • Pack Price: $31.97/20 Rounds
  • Weight: 230gr
  • Energy: 391
  • Velocity: 875fps
  • Type: JHP

Remington Golden Saber is next level JHP with a tactical bonded lead core that helps minimize deflection through barriers.

Barrier penetration is increasingly important and the Remington Golden Saber does sit well, but it is on the expensive side and that tactical bonded lead core and brass jacket really doesn’t justify the cost.

Training Ammo, 45 ACP FMJ Ammo

You don’t need to spend the Earth on bleeding edge tech for a range day and you can save big money with high quality FMJ rounds.

Try this range of cheaper ammo for range days. Get more handgun ammo, get more range time, get more prepared. You know it makes sense.

This handgun ammo is getting steadily more expensive. So it’s better to find bulk 45 ACP full metal jacket for recreational shooting. Here are some of the best sellers.

Federal American Eagle 45 ACP Full Metal Jacket FMJ bulk ammo deals. Get 1000 rounds here, and free shipping.

8. Federal American Eagle

  • Price: $0.61/Round
  • Pack Price: $609.99/1000 Rounds
  • Weight: 230gr
  • Muzzle Energy: 405
  • Muzzle Velocity: 890fps
  • Type: FMJ

Federal American Eagle is affordable ammo that you can order in 1000 round boxes. And as several ammo shortages have shown us, you might want to consider that.

Full Metal jacket ammo really isn’t the ultimate defensive answer, though, it’s a range day ammo. Still, it’s 45 ACP and it’s really cheap. So buy what you can and have fun shooting guns at the range.

This 230 grain FMJ comes with brass casings and a bonded core. They’re solid bullets for target practice punching paper and will save you money on your 45 ACP ammunition shopping.

Speer Lawman Frangible 155gr. Use this ammo at the range to get a consistent feel with the Gold Dot hollow points.

9. Speer Lawman RHT Frangible

  • Price: $0.99/Round
  • Pack Price: $49.59/20 Rounds
  • Weight: 155gr
  • Muzzle Force: 404
  • Muzzle Velocity: 890fps
  • Type: Full Metal Jacket

Speer Lawman RHT Frangible is designed to behave like the more expensive Gold Dot hollow points at the range. So practise and a live fire situation feel like the same thing, apart from all the adrenaline and fear.

Still, target practice with high grade training ammo has to be a good thing if you can afford to. Certain levels of custom 1911 deserve the best, too, and Speer Lawman will minimize your maintenance costs.

I mean that’s just science.

The frangible bullet is designed to basically disintegrate on contact with your target, steel plate, or whatever else. So, despite the name, the Speer Lawman is basically the opposite of a 45 ACP round that could take the bad guys down. It is great for target shooting though.

Sellier & Bellot 45 ACP Full Metal Jacket FMJ ammunition. Get bulk deals now.

10. Sellier & Bellot 45 ACP

  • Price: $0.50/Round
  • Pack Price: $24.87/50 Rounds
  • Weight: 230gr
  • Energy: 372lb/ft
  • Velocity: 853fps
  • Type: Full Metal Jacket FMJ

Sellier & Bellot 45 ACP Full Metal Jacket ammo is built to match grade specifications and you can buy this 45 ACP in bulk too.

One partner has 800 rd ammo cans of 230gr FMJ Sellier & Bellot 45 ACP ammo and others will sell you 1000 rounds in one hit. We recommend you do a quick price check and see what gun deals are on offer.

Sellier & Bellot 45 ACP ammo is a solid choice of 230 grain FMJ and an affordable bullet for target practice in these troubled times.

CCI Blazer Brass, low budget 45 ACP training ammo for running drills and murdering targets.

11. CCI Blazer Brass

  • Price: $0.60/Round
  • Pack Price: $29.99/50 Rounds
  • Weight: 230gr
  • Energy: 352lb/ft
  • Velocity: 830fps
  • Type: Full Metal Jacket FMJ

This 230 grain FMJ is low budget ammunition for getting to know your handgun with some range shooting. Send CCI Blazer Brass by the bucketful, or maybe slightly less these days.

It is still expensive if you really go nuts, but CCI Blazer Brass is about as cheap as decent ammo gets and it’s an honest, basic bullet without getting into steel casing options.

Winchester USA RFeady ammo, 45 ACP

12. Winchester USA Ready

  • Price: $0.67/Round
  • Pack Price: $33.59/50 Rounds
  • Bullet Weight: 230gr
  • Energy: 395lb/ft
  • Velocity: 880fps
  • Type: Flat Nose Full Metal Jacket FMJ

Winchester USA Ready is a cut above normal FMJ 45 ACP ammo and is aimed at competition shooters that need flat, consistent behavior for target shooting.

Winchester USA has a range of bullets, and can kit you out with a Nickel plated brass JHP bullet and lots more besides.

But if you’re looking for 230 grain FMJ bulk ammo deals, then this is a reasonably priced boxer primed brass round that is that little bit better than your normal FMJ for range shooting.

PMC Battle pack of cheap bullets.

13. PMC Battle Pack

  • Price: $0.50/round
  • Pack Price: $375.00/750 Rounds
  • Weight: 230 grain bullet

PMC Bronze are boxer primed brass 230 grain FMJ bullets by the case load. Now PMC Bronze are not the best rounds you will ever shoot, but they are consistent, consistently get good reviews and are about as cheap ammo as you will find.

They’re great for range training and this 230 grain bullet does get rave reviews.

And Some Wild Bullets for Fun…
CCI Speer Shotshell 45 ACP For Sale

14. CCI Speer Shotshells

  • Price: $1.25/Round
  • Pack Price: $12.50/10 Rounds
  • Weight: 117gr
  • Energy: 322lb/ft
  • Velocity: 1100fps
  • Type: Fluid Transfer Monolithic

Now it’s cool you can turn an old 45 ACP into an impromptu shotgun, if you have problems with snakes or other vermin. This really has forged a reputation as a specialist snake pellet in Copperhead and Rattlesnake country and it’s effective to 10 feet.

This really isn’t a self-defense ammo in the traditional sense. If you’ve got two legged varmints then you should invest in one of these mag-fed shotguns.

This really is just a snake gun cartridge. You can do the same job with the 22LR version, or the 9mm version, and you really don’t feel the benefit of the 45 ACP bullet, which is some of the hardest hitting ammo on the market.

This is a spectacular cartridge for one specific job, and that’s it. But if you’re in Copperhead or Rattlesnake country, then this could be an essential addition to your gun safe.

You might also want to throw one of these new breed of shotguns in there too.

G2 Research RIP 45 CP For Sale


15. G2 Research RIP 45 ACP

  • Price: $2.33/round
  • Pack price: $46.60/20 Rounds
  • Weight: 162gr
  • Energy: 464
  • Velocity: 975fps
  • Type: Full Metal Jacket Frangible

OK so the price is insane, but this truly is a work of art. A horrible, dark, unsettling piece of art, but that counts too.

Basically the hollow-point type front end is designed to break apart on impact with soft tissue. So the bullet doesn’t mushroom out and tumble. Instead it fires 8 trocars of pure copper shrapnel off in every direction and you just have to see what it does to the gel in the video below to truly comprehend the evil genius behind this round.

There’s still a solid, tumbling bullet, but it’s joined by this arsenal of knives. The bullet turns into a mini pipe bomb once it hits flesh and there’s no doubt the results would be devastating.

It’s a bullet that is designed to maim and kill. Even a leg shot would be a heinous mess with all that shrapnel ripping muscle to shreds and threatening to sever blood vessels. It would be a mess, and that means it’s actually kind of limited to home defense.

The last line of home defense, seriously..

It would turn your concealed carry handgun into a weapon of mass destruction, but that isn’t always a good thing.

You just can’t go round pumping this stuff into people without facing some consequences at some point. I mean look what it does to this ballistic gel. That is almost a hate crime…

See for yourself…

Honey Badger 45 ACP 135gr FTM ammo for sale



16. Castle Hill Ammunition Honey Badger

  • Price: $1.46/round
  • Pack Price: $29.16/20 rounds
  • Weight: 135gr
  • Energy: 526
  • Velocity: 1325fps:
  • Type: Fluid Transfer Monolithic

This could well be the best 45 cartridge on the planet right now. It’s too expensive, disproportionately so, and we struggle to justify the price difference based on the reasons we’ll get to in a moment.

But if you try the 45 ACP Honey Badger semi wadcutter bullets, love them and don’t want to trust your carry gun with any other carry ammo, then they would be cheap at twice the price. They offer deep penetration, much deeper than average penetration anyway.

LIghtweight Ammunition

The bullet weights are not typos. This is a lightweight bullet that you’d expect to find in a 9mm range, but here it is in the heavyweight of the ammunition line up and I have to admit I’m not sure that the inherent advantages of this bullet completely make up for the lack of pure mass.

It’s a high velocity round that generates its force through speed rather than mass. That does bring up the overpenetration debate, but Castle Hill Ammunition has achieved stellar user reviews online and these bullets have been tested in pretty much every grotesque way known to man, as well as the traditional gel tests.

There aren’t many people with a bad word to say about Honey Badger ammunition online, so take from that anecdotal evidence what you will.

This bullet is an oddity, which is why people love it. Us too, we’re not afraid to admit it!

Essentially, this bullet does not rely on expansion. Like the LeHigh Defense bullet that was partially developed in collaboration with Black Hills Ammunition, it relies on those crude looking vanes out front creating a shockwave as the bullet enters soft tissue or gel.

If it looks like a half-ass ripper bullet, then look again and you’ll start to see there’s actual tech here. Check out the 44 Magnum round here:

Honey Badger vs Xtreme Defense? It’s Close

The results make for pretty intimidating viewing to be honest and the design tweaks that define the Honey Badger vs Xtreme Penetrator battle are all about building pressure at the front of the bullet that offers an alternative to a hollow point. Is it better in terms of stopping power?

It seems to be is the honest answer, but questions inevitably linger.

So far, everything looks good apart from the price, which truly is difficult to justify when the Xtreme Defense offers more or less the same tech for much less money. Still, you should try some 45 ACP Honey Badger at least once. You never know, you might really like this type of 45 ACP self defense.

17. Bulk Deals – Names To Watch Out For

There is nothing wrong with looking for cheap deals online on 45 ACP ammunition, 9mm ammo, 380 Auto Ammo, rimfire ammo, shotgun ammo, rifle ammo etc, but make sure you don’t buy junk carry ammo.

If you are prepared to pay the inherent sacrifice of reduced capacity and increased recoil in the name of a bigger impact, then make it count with good bullets.

Bullets to look out for include the Golden Saber, Winchester Ranger, Hornady, American Eagle and of course any of the stars on this list. When you’re looking for 9mm ammo, 45 ACP ammo for self-defense online, or more, we have a few places you might want to start.

Stores to Check First

Some stores are better than others when it comes to bulk buying your 45 ammunition. Palmetto State Armory is always a helpful starting point when you want to buy ammo, best accessories, all kinds of stuff.

Palmetto State Armory used to be the place you went to for a cheap AR-15, and it still is. But you can also score some really sweet 1911s in one of the best gun stores in the United States. So go to Palmetto State Armory for the best gun deals too, not just ammo discounts and basic bullet types.

Lucky Gunner is a Good Option

Now Lucky Gunner has emerged as one of our favorites, and if you’ve never heard of Lucky Gunner before then you’re about to get an inside track.

Lucky Gunner doesn’t have the most stylish website, it doesn’t have the flashiest marketing. But it does have good prices on big boxes of ammunition. At the end of the day, that’s what’s important.

Check here for the latest on Lucky Gunner for 45…

Brownells is consistently voted the best online gun dealer, with good reason. The stock list is immense, the customer service is second to none and they have some great sale prices. So if you’re looking for bulk ammo deals online, it’s a good place to start.

We have a couple of other places for you to get your fix of Winchester Ranger, American Eagle, Hornady and Remington Golden Saber too.

Cheaper Ammo Can Jam Guns

Not all of the cheaper ammo works wonders with a finicky eater of a 3 inch barrel 1911 carry gun.

That’s just something to bear in mind if you’re eyeing up steel casing bullet types. Some carry ammo is specifically designed to work with a 3-4 inch barrel, too. Check out if it’s carry ammo, or at least try it out in your carry gun before deciding what to use on the daily.

It’s always a good idea to buy shotgun ammo, 380 Auto ammo, rifle ammo, rimfire ammo and 230 grain FMJ ammo in bulk anyway. Feed your guns consistent high quality ammo and you should feel the benefit in every 230 grain bullet.

Get the best prices on ammo for self-defense at Brownells. 

Cheap self-defense ammunition at Brownells

Remember to check out, too, for a wide range of 45 ACP ammunition.

45 ACP ammo at Lucky Gunner
Can We Sell You a 45 Pistol?

Take a look at the best .45 ACP 1911s for sale for $1000 when you’re done here too! If you’re getting the best bullets, you might as well get a new firearm to keep them in.

If you’re looking for a 45 ACP handgun for concealed carry, then we got you covered as well. Check out our list of the best .45 ACP CCW guns here.

Now, back to the vicious bullets…

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  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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